SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    May be a stupid comment...

    Alright basically I was wondering something... my exposure to accessibily isn't that high so if i'm way off base just let me know... anyways here goes...

    i was reading somewhere commentary on alt tags and their overuse often with sites that are already bloated with non-accessible friendly elements... case in point a lot of sites use a large amount of tables to format a document and the recommendation made by a lot of useability guides is the use alt tags to delineate what images mean... however these pages use "sliced" images and putting alt="top left corner of image of man infront of a keyboard"... now i know this is probably bad practice but nevertheless i think its relatively common... the article i was reading suggested that simpler alt tagging was more recommended... case in point (alt="man at keyboard image 1")... now i agree that this certainly sounds better, but my question is why not make a practice of avoiding these elements...

    it seems to me that using an external character that isn't used very often would be a much better way of approaching this problem... it wouldn't alleviate the problem of all the tables... but the massive amount of detailing on fragmented images would be removed... case in point (alt="dash") now this would tell a visually impared browser "dash" and move on... but it wouldn't take as long for a reader to go by... to further the thought an external character that isn't ever used in text (no thought of which one but something like the 179 in ANSI, that has no real bearing on most sites) would be even better because if it became standard practive browsers could be made to "ignore element" which would solve way more issues... then all you'd need to do was include an alt tag for important visual information such as links, and important images that need to be conveyed to properly address a message...

    now i know that a common practice is to use database driven sites with multiple frontends and personally i adhere to this philosophy more... however, i'm specifically speaking of those solutions that don't call for backend, or external file solutions...

    again, if i'm off base let me know, i haven't kept up in this area so i'm no expert just seems to be a trend, and no unfortunately i can't quote the article in question as i read it about 6 months ago... might be nielsen but don't quote me on that...

    Regards,
    Owen

  2. #2
    Sidewalking anode's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Philadelphia, US
    Posts
    2,205
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I try to stay away from purly decorative images in anything but cell backgrounds, but if I absolutely HAD to use one, I would seet the alt tag to "Decorative element."

    None of this is an issue if you are providing a "Skip Navigation" link(as that should lead staraight into the body, skipping any fanciness.)

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard iTec's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    2,243
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    if the image is purely for design and has no bearing on the content of the page, then the alt tag should be alt=" ". setting an alt tag to alt="decorative element" is pretty much just as bad as not giving the image no alt tag at all, in a highly visual layout you would end up with

    decorative element decorative element decorative element Welcome to site X decorative element decorative element decorative element Navigation decorative element content

    which really isnt any better then [image] [image] [image] yadda yadda yadda...

    where as with alt=" " you get Welcome to site X Navigation content.

    hope that makes sence.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    6
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by iTec
    if the image is purely for design and has no bearing on the content of the page, then the alt tag should be alt=" ". setting an alt tag to alt="decorative element" is pretty much just as bad as not giving the image no alt tag at all, in a highly visual layout you would end up with

    decorative element decorative element decorative element Welcome to site X decorative element decorative element decorative element Navigation decorative element content

    which really isnt any better then [image] [image] [image] yadda yadda yadda...

    where as with alt=" " you get Welcome to site X Navigation content.

    hope that makes sence.
    perfectly... thats exactly the scenario i'm speaking of... a lot of accessible content makes that mistake, they include alt tags for useless images, and the common conception is to give simple statements to explain the image... i'm of the opinion that the image should be ignored... i hadn't thought of 'alt=" "' though... that would work much better... glad to see i wasn't being a total moron...

  5. #5
    Ceci n'est pas Zoef Zoef's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Malta
    Posts
    1,111
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Don't ask me where, but I've read that alt="" is the way to go. That way the image will be ignored by speech browsers.

    Rik
    English tea - Italian coffee - Maltese wine - Belgian beer - French Cognac

  6. #6
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Salford / Manchester / UK
    Posts
    4,838
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    i already planned on testing this with JAWS for windows tomorrow at work, as it is something that has nagged me when i read this thread (is it alt="" or alt=" " - my gut feeling is that both will work as intended, i.e. the screenreader will ignore them just the same...whilst text browsers will render a space in the second case, which may not be the desired effect for that case)
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
    [latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
    WaSP Accessibility Task Force Member
    splintered.co.uk | photographia.co.uk | redux.deviantart.com

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard iTec's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    2,243
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by redux
    ...whilst text browsers will render a space in the second case, which may not be the desired effect for that case)
    white space is ignored in html though and i am pretty sure that giving alt="" produces a [image] (ie: no alt tag).

  8. #8
    gingham dress, army boots... silver trophy redux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Salford / Manchester / UK
    Posts
    4,838
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by iTec

    white space is ignored in html though and i am pretty sure that giving alt="" produces a [image] (ie: no alt tag).
    just tested it under JAWS, and both alt="" and alt=" " are simply not read out. also, under lynx, alt="" does not display (so no, it does not produce [image])...
    not sure about other screenreaders though...
    re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
    [latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
    WaSP Accessibility Task Force Member
    splintered.co.uk | photographia.co.uk | redux.deviantart.com

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    N.Ireland
    Posts
    1,046
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    thanks Redux, I use alt="" which I understood to be the proper use of it.

    I actually read on the RNIB site that for spacers you should use alt="*", does the screen reader not say "asterix" tho?

  10. #10
    Posts rarely lloydi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Swindon UK
    Posts
    620
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Originally posted by Daz
    I actually read on the RNIB site that for spacers you should use alt="*", does the screen reader not say "asterix" tho?
    Personally, I don't agree with that one ... unless it's an image that is serving the purpose of a bullet point.

    Empty alt (alt=" ") or a null alt (alt="") are definitely best. However, the problem with alt="" - which is how things should be done - is that some automated testing tools can mis-report this as a missing alt.

    However, I can't say what tools those are!

    I have the desktop version of Bobby and the new WebXM desktop suite from Watchfire - both seem to report alt="" as being fine.
    Build Your Own Web Site the Right Way!
    A beginners' HTML/CSS book with web standards at its heart
    The Ultimate HTML Reference
    A complete reference, in glorious hardback


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •